Popular

How Forbidding Incest Ruined the Church Manual

After the General Conference last year, Adventist Today contacted me. They wanted a retrospect on the meetings from various viewpoints. I suggested an article that even I thought was pretty out of the box. The article would be entitled ‘How Forbidding Incest Ruined the Church Manual.’ This was based on my reflections on the changes to the Church Manual that were accepted at a meeting that had historically low quorum of about 15-25% of the delegates. Changes that I felt were quite horrific. They liked my pitch, it was printed, and I just received a PDF of the copy. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Blogs

Utopia is Awesome

[This blog post is part of series on metamodernism and awesomeness. If you don’t know what metamodernism is, read this first, otherwise you may be left in the dark. I’m developing some thoughts here, and reactions are more than welcome.] Pete is an adventist. Pete believes in heaven. Pete believes Jesus lives there now, and will come soon to pick the faithful up. Pete wants to believe he can join Jesus in heaven. Pete thinks heaven is awesome. Pete could never be an Adventist. Pete knows that heaven is a fallacy. Pete knows that the idea of heaven is just used to bribe us to be good. Pete doesn’t even want to go to heaven. Pete thinks heaven is awesome. Pete is both of these things. And neither. Pete is metamodern. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Popular

Focus on Adventists

Every five years or so the British Adventist church publishes an evangelistic magazine called Focus. This year they asked me to write an article about why I am an Adventist. That's a very hard question, and the best answer I could come up with is 'I like to believe that there's a God.' That was a good summary of my position. As the weird post-postmodern person that I am, I don't really attach any important if there is actually a God. I don't want to know if there is a God. All of this is the wrong question. I, personally, think my life is better if I believe in God, so I like to believe in him. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Blogs

Awesome prophecy

[This blog post is part of series on metamodernism and awesomeness. If you don’t know what metamodernism is, read this first otherwise you may be left in the dark. I’m developing some thoughts here, and reactions are more than welcome.] Pete is an Adventist. Pete believes in prophecy. Pete believes in the prophetic task of the end-time church. Pete believes that the Bible and Ellen White predict future events. Pete thinks prophecy is awesome. Pete could never be an Adventist. Pete knows that prophecy is a fallacy. Pete knows there is no end-time church. Pete knows that the prophetic parts of the Bible about history were obviously written after the fact. Pete knows that other prophetic parts were simply socio-religious critique. Pete thinks prophecy is awesome. Pete has both of these identities, and neither. Pete is metamodern. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Blogs

In His Image: Discrimination and Equality

Almost 25 years ago Nelson Mandela was released from prison. He has been an inspiration for many people, and I am sure he will remain one for generations. In 1993 his contribution to society was honoured, when he won the Nobel prize for peace, together with F. W. de Klerk. Mandela's mission was founded in love and human rights. Mandela's fight for love and human rights is special to me. I lived in South Africa when he was released from prison. I remember the elections where De Klerk was voted president. I remember the hope that many had that he, from a position of power, would bring change. And change was direly needed. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Popular

That’s So Meta

I arrived home today to find an exciting bit of post: three copies of the latest Adventist Today. It is apparently the GC Session Special. It's twice as thick as usual, and has been sent to all the GC Session delegates, as well as the normal subscribers. The exciting part is that it contains an article written by me: That's So Meta: The Post-Postmodern Church. The article is based on a speech I gave at Reframe at the One project is San Diego. One of the editors of Adventist Today was in the audience and asked if I could give him a transcript. The wonderful editors at Adventist Today helped make the article much better than the speech, and definitely worth reading. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Blogs

Taking care of the earth

The meaning of life, for a Christian, is taking care of the earth. God's primary wish for humankind is being a faithful steward to the earth and everything on it. Sadly, when we talk about stewardship we often talk about money and tithes. But what's up with the world? When I was at Newbold College I was a member of the NSA. Not that NSA, the American organisation that keeps an eye on us at all times. I was a member of the Newbold Student Association. That was in a time when Newbold was having seven lean financial years, while all students were mandatory paying members of the NSA. The students were richer than the school. So we decided to give the College a hand. We had a plan that would not only help Newbold, it would save the world. We wanted to get a windmill on campus. The electricity would be shared with the College. Newbold is in a part of England that is well-suited for wind energy. Everything was sorted: plans, planning permission, you name it. But, if you go to Newbold today. No windmill. Why not? When we got to the final vote, one of the students stood up and said: 'Why should we take care of the environment if Jesus is coming soon?!' His argument was apparently very powerful, because when we got around to voting we decided against it. (more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Blogs

A Book on Women’s Ordination

The ordination of female pastors has been a hot topic in the Adventist church in the last years. The excitement is growing now that the General Conference is getting closer. Sadly, I am not a delegate the the General Conference so I will have no vote in the matter. For the record, I wholeheartedly support the ordination of female pastors. I don't think that anyone who knows me has any doubt in that issue. In November of 2012 I wrote an article for Spectrum Magazine, where I said:

As an ordained male pastor I have no direct stake in the argument, yet this is an issue in which I have always felt personally involved, and on which I cannot conscientiously remain silent. As a church it is our responsibility to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and as Christians it is our moral duty to speak out where we see our fellows treated unjustly. Having grown up in South Africa during the years of apartheid, I witnessed institutionalised injustice first-hand. Discrimination is wrong no matter what form it takes, and I cannot see any fundamental difference between how the church treats women (as less than men), and how South Africa treated black Africans (as less than white Europeans).
(more…)

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Vlogs

Levenskwaliteit

As part of our communication strategy we have record vlogs our core values: Optimism, Service, Quality of Life. Here’s my (Dutch) vlog on Quality of Life.

By Tom de Bruin, ago
Blogs

God with Us

I wrote this blog for the One project’s daily challenge, they published it on December 30th, 2014.  A couple of months ago my wife moved to another country. Don’t worry, she didn’t leave me — Read more…

By Tom de Bruin, ago